Dunedin Causeway is a great destination for summer fun! At Sail Honeymoon you can rent kayaks, trimarans, a 17-foot Windrider or a stand up paddleboard! Located directly on Dunedin Causeway’s south side, Sail Honeymoon has been a local business renting kayaks for years but in the last couple of years they have expanded and now also rent trimarans, catamarans and the ever so popular paddleboard. Along with the rental comes instructions if needed and the staff will also supply you with life jackets, paddles and a dry bag to keep your belongings safe during your excursion out on St Joseph’s Sound. Sail Honeymoon is located a short distance from Caladesi Island State Park and off the causeway on your way to Honeymoon Island State Park. Caladesi Island is only accessible by boat, there are no cars on the island. There are kayak trails wandering through the mangroves and over 6 miles of inland waterways waiting to be explored!
You can rent a sit-on-top kayak or a sit-in kayak and even use the kayak to go fishing for the day! The single kayaks start at $30 for 2 hours but are only $55 for the entire day! The doubles are $40 for 2 hours and $70 for the day. The 16 foot long Windrider Trimarans are perfect for up to 3 people. These are $75 for 2 hours and $150 for the entire day. What better way to enjoy the beautiful waters of St Joseph’s Sound? If you are interested in the 17 foot Windrider, which has a capacity of up to 5 people and a cooler, they are $95 for 2 hours and $175 for the day. All of these kayaks and sailboats have a four hour price as well and you can get that information by simply calling Sail Honeymoon at 727-734-0392. Oh, and the stand-up paddleboards are only $25 for an hour or $35 for 2 hours! How could I almost forget these popular boards? Sail Honeymoon just received the ‘green light’ from the City of Dunedin to extend their contract for having this location on the Dunedin Causeway for another ten years, so they are not going anywhere. This is great news since this is a popular destination for young and not so young alike! If you are looking for something to do during the long hot summer, consider renting one of these great kayaks or sailboats and really getting out on the open waters off the Dunedin Causeway!
Pinellas County Florida Botanical Gardens is located in Largo Florida. Here you can wander through over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and view the wildlife in the 90 acres that are kept in their natural, wild state.
The cultivated gardens include a herb garden, palm garden, tropical fruit garden, patio garden, butterfly garden, succulent garden, bromeliad garden, native plants garden and a seasonal plantings display area. In addition to that, there is a beautiful wedding garden as well as a tropical courtyard.
Naturally, a botanical garden down here in Florida would not be complete without an aquatic habitat demonstration area with a large retention pond complete with water lilies and alligators. There are also sixty acres that were once used for agriculture and are now being restored to it’s natural state. Volunteers are available to answer your questions throughout the park. There is also a gift shop and an information center where you can bring in plants or soil to receive guidance on your own garden.
Pinellas County Florida Botanical Gardens is adjacent to both the Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing (with their interactive museum) and Heritage Village (28 historic structures dating back to the 19th century). This is the perfect destination for the entire family! The botanical gardens are open seven days a week.
Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve has two sections: Mobbly Bayou South Support Area and Mobbly Bayou North Support Area. Both of these wonderful waterfront parks are directly on Tampa Bay and both are in Oldsmar Florida. Here you will learn about both.
Mobbly Bayou South Support Area is located at the eastern end of Shore Drive, directly on Tampa Bay. This great park has a beach, picnic shelters and restrooms. It is an extremely popular destination to take the kids for a picnic and romp on the beach of Tampa Bay.
Mobbly Bayou North Support Area is located off Lafayette Blvd in Oldsmar. There is a great kayak launch area in this park. From here you can travel east in your kayak to the Upper Tampa Bay Park and return on the scenic route via Mullet Creek. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the mangroves and birds along our coastline. This park is also popular with those who enjoy fishing from the shoreline. Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve North Support Area also has picnic shelters and restroom facilities as well as a large playground for the kids.
Oldsmar Florida is growing! Convenient to both Tampa and the Gulf Beaches, it has great schools and is close to top rated medical facilities.
R. E. Olds Park in Oldsmar Florida was named after Ransom E. Olds, who was the founder of Oldsmobile and REO cars. In 1913 R.E. Olds purchased 37,541 acres of land on the northern shores of Tampa Bay and named the area “R.E. Olds-on-the-Bay”. The area became known as Oldsmar in 1937, when the town’s name was officially changed.
Back when Olds built the city, there were no bridges across Tampa Bay. The only way from Tampa to St Petersburg was to come through Oldsmar. Olds had many plans for the town, including a banana plantation, horse track and a casino with a major hotel. Tampa Bay Downs has become a major attraction, bringing tourists and their horses down to Oldsmar during the winter months. It is the only Thoroughbred race track on Florida’s West Coast and is one of America’s oldest race tracks.
Today R.E. Olds Park is frequented throughout the week since it offers hiking trails directly on Tampa Bay, a great fishing pier, several playgrounds, sand volleyball area, fitness equipment, restrooms, an open amphitheater, picnic shelters and fantastic views of Tampa Bay. From the shores of R.E. Olds Park you can see Philippi Park across the bay over in Safety Harbor.
R.E. Olds Park is one of several great parks located in the town of Oldsmar Florida. Convenient to both Tampa and the Gulf Beaches, the town of Oldsmar is growing. Here you will find excellent public schools and lovely communities.
Wall Springs Park is located right on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico in beautiful Palm Harbor Florida. Wall Springs Park is a natural spring that was once a bathing and spa area for wealthy northerners. Charles Wall purchased the property in 1884 and it was used as a spa retreat until the 1960’s. Pinellas County began purchasing the property with the goal of making a large park and today the park comprises 210 acres.
Wall Springs Park, located between Crystal Beach and Tarpon Springs, is a favorite destination of locals. Accessible from the Pinellas Trail as well as by car, this great county park offers five picnic and grill shelters that can be reserved for parties. In addition to the shelters, there are restroom facilities, wonderful nature trails, boardwalks, an observation tower, fishing piers, playground, butterfly garden and a historical area explaining about the history of the park. If you are planning on fishing in the park, remember that here in Florida you must have a fishing license, even if fishing from shore.
The spring in the center of the park comes from the Upper Florida Aquifer. The average water flow from the spring is 2,917 gallons of water per minute and the spring’s temperature is a pretty constant 74 degrees. Swimming is no longer allowed in the spring and neither is fishing. Here you can see not only some of the largest mullet you will ever encounter, but also snook, redfish, sheephead, needlefish, white bait and of course otter and a wide variety of tropical birds. The fish seem to know that as long as they are in the main spring area, they are safe from fishermen. Naturally, since the spring and Boggy Bayou are connected you have a great chance of catching plenty of fish from the park’s fishing docks that are on Boggy Bayou.
Weedon Island Preserve is a 3,190 acre natural area on the eastern shores of St Petersburg Florida. Located directly on Tampa Bay, Weedon Island Preserve is owned by the State of Florida and maintained by Pinellas County. The preserve itself is open to the public seven days a week from 7 am to dusk, with the exceptions of the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Those are the only two days during the entire year that the preserve is closed.
Here you will find miles of hiking trails. Part of the trails have boardwalks which make those sections accessible to wheelchairs. There is also a great 45 foot high observation tower, perfect for great photos and bird watching. When you visit Weedon Island Preserve, you want to remember to bring bottled water and shoes with closed toes. The trails wonder through mangroves and some of them take you out to Tampa Bay.
If kayaking is your pleasure, there is a fantastic kayak launch in Weedon Island Preserve but plan on getting there early since the parking area by the kayak launch fills up early. There are also restrooms and water facilities by the kayak launch, as well as at the education center. The education center has a large parking area and offers workshops as well as educational programs for the community and local schools. Six thousand square feet of exhibits await you at the education center. Here you will be able to view artifacts left by those who inhabited Weedon Island Preserve as far back as 1800 years ago! The three story educational center was designed with the assistance of Native Americans, in following with their traditions. When planning a visit to the education center, remember that the center is only open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Philippe Park is indeed Safety Harbor Florida’s Historical Park! This 160 acre park is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks due to the fact that it was once home to both the Tocobaga Native American tribe and later the home of Count Odet Philippe. Remains of the Tocobaga’s time here can be found not only from the fact that they left a large mound in the park but that there were numerous other mounds that have been excavated. The archaeological remains of these mounds are now contained in the Safety Harbor Museum.
Count Odet Philippe, once chief surgeon to Napolean and born in Lyon France, made Safety Harbor Florida his home back in 1821. Here he settled with his family and introduced the citrus industry to Hillsborough County (today’s Pinellas County belonged Hillsborough County until 1921). It was also Odet Philippe that originally brought the cigar making industry to Florida. He passed on in 1869 at the age of 100 and was buried on his estate, in what is today Philippe Park.
Philippe Park has miles of trails, picnic shelters, restrooms, boat ramps and of course the Tocobaga mound. It is a popular destination for children’s birthday parties, family picnics, morning jogs and a favorite with everyone interested in local history. Here locals love to put their kayaks into Old Tampa Bay for a day out on the water and you will often find people fishing from shore.
Philippe Park is a wonderful addition to Safety Harbor Florida and one park you need to check out!
Eagle Lake Park located on Keene Road in Largo Florida is a beautiful 163-acre park that once belonged to the Taylor family. This pioneering family raised cattle and had orange groves. Many of these trees are still growing in the park.
Pinellas County purchased two sections which now comprise the park back in 1998 and 2006. Now county park-goes can enjoy the picnic shelters, playground, fishing piers and miles of hiking trails. The fishing is catch and release only.
This natural habitat includes over 2,000 feet of well maintained boardwalks over beautifully restored wetlands. Convenient to both north and central Pinellas County, Eagle Lake Park is a popular destination for locals to hold birthday parties, family outings and even morning yoga classes. One of the things I love about Eagle Lake Park is how the turtles come swimming up to the piers, obviously awaiting handouts. That makes photographing these marvelous creatures ever so easy!
Eagle Lake Park runs from Belleair Road to the north all the way to Rosery Road to the south and is a real treasure for the neighboring communities!
Upper Tampa Bay Park is a gem of a park located just east of Oldsmar Florida, off Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. The park offers kayak rentals, picnic and grilling facilities, fishing piers, miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, restrooms, meeting facilities, summer camp and an educational center.
This 596 acre natural park is bordered by Old Tampa Bay to the south and west and Double Branch Creek to the east. You kayak the creek or the bay, enjoying Mother Nature at it’s best among the mangroves and natural habitat of salt water marshes.
There are wonderful picnic facilities for parties right next to the playground and there is even a volleyball court.
Wander the trails and keep an eye out for osprey, bald eagle, red shouldered hawk, spoonbills and other native birds, as well as bobcat, tortoises and a variety of snakes. Remember, we do have coral snakes, rattlesnakes and cottonmouth down here, so be careful where you walk!
If you are out in the water, you can enjoy the dolphin and manatee, also be sure to watch for otter! Naturally, fishing is great since there are snook, red fish and drum in these waters.
Convenient to residents of northern Pinellas County, including Oldsmar, Safety Harbor and Palm Harbor, this great park is also close to Tampa’s Westchase area!
This 255 acre waterfront park was built in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Home to three fantastic nature trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, picnic shelters, restroom facilities, a horse shoe pit, fenced in doggie park and a public boat ramp with access to Lake Tarpon, this is one park you don’t want to miss!
Lake Tarpon is five miles long and over a mile wide. It is home to large bass as well as our Florida gator. Fishermen love fishing this lake but remember that you do need a Florida fishing license to fish from shore or boat.
The park is also home to deer, raccoon, hawks, osprey and many other creatures. With miles of boardwalk along the shores of the lake and through the swamp areas that connect to other hiking trails, this park offers enjoyment for the entire family. Just remember to bring your camera so you can capture memories you will never forget!
John Chesnut Park is one of several magnificent local parks here in Pinellas County Florida.